WELLSBURG -The Brooke County School District will employ an automated telephone system to call substitutes for teachers and other personnel.
The move was made at the recommendation of Kathy Kidder, superintendent of schools, who said it will eliminate time spent by principals and other administrators in contacting substitute teachers and various service personnel, such as bus drivers, custodians and cooks.
"They may spend hours trying to get a sub," she said.
Kidder said the service will be provided by Regional Education Service Agency 6, a consortium through which Hancock, Brooke, Ohio, Marshall and Wetzel counties collectively obtain training, services and materials.
She said the school district will pay RESA 6 according to the number of calls made through its Substitute Employee Management System, also known as SmartFind Express, which is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
Kidder said the system is set up to contact the most qualified individuals for the teaching or service personnel position to be filled. As with the school district's current policy, teachers will be called according to the subject area involved while service personnel are called according to their seniority, she said.
Kidder noted the system also keeps a record of staff's absences, number of hours worked by substitutes and number of refusals by substitutes.
School service personnel may be fired if they decline to work without acceptable reason after three consecutive requests.
There's no penalty for substitute teachers who decline but the West Virginia Department of Education counts 133 days of substitute teaching as a year of experience, which affects a substitute's salary and eligibility for retirement if he or she is hired full-time.
Asked whether the school district has sufficient substitutes, Kidder said the number isn't as low as it had been in recent years but there's room for more.
The school district currently employs 154 substitute personnel, of which 88 are teachers and two are principals.
In other business, the board:
Tabled requests by Transportation Director Ron Staffileno for the sale of three school buses, two vans and a Blazer, all 1990s models, for more information.
Approved the hiring of William Jones as a bus driver, Brian Cerullo as varsity boys tennis coach at Brooke High School, Ryan Garbin as eighth grade boys basketball coach at Follansbee Middle School, Billie Jo Falcon as a countywide math specialist, Robert Chance Pattison as a lifeguard at the Brooke High School Wellness Center, Kay Yaussy as a substitute aide and Larry Trader as a substitute maintenance worker.
It accepted resignations from Edson Arneault as faculty manager at Follansbee Middle School, John Schupbach as substitute teacher and John Newton as substitute aide.
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